Andrea El Osta – A world where not a single individual is left in the shadows
I once did a survey during my studies that was based on two questions or ideas: What does light mean to you? Describe how your life would have been without light. Of course, no one has ever thought about it in a concrete way; we consider light as being an omnipresent medium that accompanies us wherever we go. When people we asked to think about these questions, 90 percent of the answers inferred: light is almost everything; I can’t live without light.
This leads us directly to my topic: shedding light on 1.4 billion people – nearly a quarter of our planet’s population – who still live in total darkness. Many documentaries have addressed this humanitarian issue, and it has still not got the attention it deserves. For us, life does not stop after dark. For them, it does. My fundamental hope is that everybody starts to think in terms of putting people first. It is a pretty simple mission and we can achieve it design-wise one step at a time. I believe we, as lighting designers, have the greatest impact on this problem; we should work together to make the most important source accessible to all and spread light to reach everyone.
Andrea El Osta graduated from the Politecnico Di Milano in December 2018 with a Master’s degree in Lighting Design & LED Technology. Before that, she gained a Bachelor of Arts in Design and Applied Arts/Interior Design at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik in Lebanon.
From May to November 2018, she worked as a Lighting Design intern for Osram in Milan, Italy.
Katia Kolovea – Light as a medium to enhance communication in urban spaces
Excluding branding communication, advertisements and billboards, this research focuses on sociopolitical, environmental and health issues. In a world which has been going through a period of social, environmental and political turmoil, with global warming, terrorism, racism, infectious diseases and so on, light provides a new means of direct and non-verbal communication between societies.
This thesis attempts to present significant reasons and arguments that designate light as a basic communication tool, suitable to dynamically contribute to transferring messages and information in sociopolitical, environmental and health-related fields. The research concludes with the aspiration for a more conscious use of this communicative “language” in the urban realm.
How can lighting designers use light as a tool to inspire people to take action? The world needs a medium that raises awareness in a neutral way. It is very important that urban space encourages us to engage and care about our communities. Let us dive deeper and investigate the many aspects of light as a fundamental and meaningful communication medium.
Katia Kolovea is a multidisciplinary designer, fascinated by the interaction of light with space and human emotions. She works as a full time lighting designer at Urban Electric in London, designing ephemeral lighting installations for exhibitions, showcases, fashion and private events among others. From 2011 to 2015, she studied for her Bachelor in Interior Architecture and Product Design at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens. In 2017, she graduated from KTH with a Master of Science in Architectural Lighting Design.
Marta Casarin – Rhythm of Light
Inspired by Henri Lefebvre’s essay Rhythmanalysis, Rhythm of Light explores the lighting response to both the natural rhythm, conceived as the cyclical sequence of days and seasons that reflects into nature, and the social and personal rhythms, which are related to social activities and personal inclinations in an urban environment.
The paper investigates the relationship between these rhythms and the 24h city, and defines a dynamic lighting approach that considers people’s activities in the night and the positive qualities of darkness that electric lighting often seeks to obliterate.
The urge to redefine our lighting nightscape comes from the observation of the 24h city and its ambition to extend people’s activity on a 24h cycle. Electric lighting should respond to the shift of social rhythm, allowing for different layers of activities happening in the nighttime. The idea is to restore the quality of choice in the dark environment, which is accomplished during the day by daylight.
The project starts from these premises and outlines a public lighting concept for Washington Square Park in order to set up a design method applicable to other places in the urban environment. As opposed to the typical electric urban lighting, which only seeks to respond to the criteria of functionality, the basis for the new design employs qualitative lighting inspired by daylight. The design will shape the space as a sequence of experiences whose relationships change over time. Lighting distribution and the luminance contrast ratio are the parameters taken into account to determine one’s impression of a place and to suggest new modes of occupation, while the design of each space additionally considers how the park is read as a whole.
Marta Casarin studied Architecture at IUAV di Venezia and Lighting Design at Parsons The New School for Design. She completed internships at Anupama Kundoo Architects, Odile Soudant Lumières Studio, Gran Teatro de Fenice and HLB in Los Angeles and New York City. After her graduation in May 2018, she started to work full time for HLB New York City.